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Old 06-28-2017, 02:16 AM   #51
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Re: Rojava

There has been shelling and skirmishes with Turkey in Afrin lately.

---

Newly formed city councils in recently liberated Raqqa have given amnesty to 83 ISIS members.

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/2...1-c51bbc4b9a16
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:29 PM   #52
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Re: Rojava

Kurdish female sniper's reaction to almost being killed by an IS sniper.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-mid...at-hands-of-is
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:32 PM   #53
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Re: Rojava

If it ever existed, then the US plan to block Syrian regime allied advances in Eastern Syria and have first dibbs on finishing off ISIS in Deir ez-Zor, is done. The forces there have definitively outflanked the US backed rebels at al-Tanf, and are now reportedly progressing towards the lower Euphrates valley on three fronts. The US backed forces have even apparently been evacuated. In terms of Rojava I take it this means that any SDF advances over the river and South of Raqqah will be limited.

Things seem to continue to heat up around Afrin, though today there were reports that Russia has deployed additional troops to the area. As discussed above probably the determining factor in a serious Turkish attack would be Russian acquiescence, and that surely has to become less likely with more troop sent to the region.

It's still murky as to what exactly Turkey's real aim is. Certainly they don't want a Kurdish controlled area on the border, but it's unclear how seriously they might take their military chances of stopping it for the moment. There's been several articles claiming their real aim is getting troops into Idlib as part of the 'peace-keeping' guarantees in the Iran-Turkey-Russia talks that will begin a new round soon. In such a scenario their interest in the Afrin area is just to secure a corridor punching down from their area of control, possibly through Tall Rif'at, to the Idlib pocket.

It's tough to take that too seriously, though, for a few reasons. Firstly Turkey already has influence in Idlib, it's only the impoliteness in stating they have links to overtly jihadist groups that stops everyone from acknowledging that. Turkish propaganda TV reported form the Northern Idlib front lines with the SDF this week. Secondly they share a border with Idlib that would allow them to insert troops directly, without traversing SDF and SAA held territory. Possibly there are logistical barriers there, but it's tough to imagine how those outweigh fighting through hostile ground. Finally, though it's tricky to know exactly how it's weighed, Russia and the Syrian regime have no real interest in strengthening the Idlib pocket. The longer it continues as it is, riven with infighting, the easier it will be to pick off when the time comes. I can't believe they seriously want to allow Turkey access, or that Turkey thinks they will.

I guess I think this will all end up as sabre rattling, towards Afrin and Idlib. As ever, though, you probably shouldn't trust my analysis.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:59 PM   #54
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Re: Rojava

Quote:
Originally Posted by An_Reathai View Post
Kurdish female sniper's reaction to almost being killed by an IS sniper.

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-mid...at-hands-of-is
I came to post this for some levity but also, wtf? They need to hire some Finns for consulting as that bright blue headscarf the sniper is wearing is asking for death.
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:23 AM   #55
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Re: Rojava

pyatnitski,

Thanks.

Turkey is headed by an idiot, so who knows, right?

But, you've probably seen how Rojava has been left out of some talks when the KRG has been included. Turkey's overall strategy could just be a campaign to weaken and delegitimize Rojava/PYD/SDF/etc enough so that they don't get a seat at the table in negotiations. Turkey probably would prefer to have no Kurdish autonomy anywhere, but I think they definitely prefer a strong central Kurdish nationalist government to a heavily Kurdish yet pan-ethnic internationalist socialist ecological feminist movement government.

The Afrin-Allepo area seems to have a pretty significant Turkmen population. I don't know how much they care about that other than perhaps having allied militia groups.

I can't help but think Putin's interests are always around oil/natural gas and it seems like his interests in the region are best served there in instability and blocking things like pipelines that bring natural gas to Europe from the ME instead of through the Black Sea or the Baltic Sea.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:47 PM   #56
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Re: Rojava

Yep, Erdogan is a tough one to read. On the one hand he has gradually seized control of a massive country, so must be an impressive politician. On the other hand he often seem to recklessly escalate confrontations. It ultimately didn't lead to anything much, but the shooting down of the Russian jet a few years ago seems clearly an effort to provoke direct military confrontation between the 'West' and Russia, which is insane. If he / Turkey is capable of that, they could certainly attack Afrin even if armchair 'analysts' like myself can't see any real advantage for Turkey.

Agree that Turkey and the KRG / KDP have a much closer relationship and that is also a possible area of pressure on Rojava. I don't understand the detail of the relationship which makes that true - and so what variables may make it stronger or weaker - but it's undeniable it exists. Rojava and the KDP seem like natural belligerents, the Kurdish ciivil war was fought along those lines - if it flared up again (and a stable Kurdish zone split between them is a natural way to provoke the rivalry) then I'm sure Turkey would exploit the situation. An interesting wrinkle that I don't really understand is the KRG push for a referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq, supposedly scheduled for Autumn this year, and which it seems everyone but Barzani and the KRG hates, including Turkey.

One of, imo, the under-reported facets of the Syrian war is the Turkish support of Sunni groups, and what their interests would be in a future divided Syria. Also, what's incredibly difficult for an outside observer to grasp is the way sectarian, religious and political allegiances play out. Apparently the fight for Kobane was largely Kurds (supporting ISIS) against Kurds (in the PYG/J). Manbij and the soon to be installed Raqqah leadership are Sunni, but part of a 'state' that everyone understands as Kurdish. Manbij seems to be working decently - very decently in a failed state like Syria. It's easy to get glimpses that sectarian identity is not the ultimate or sole determining factor, but equally clearly it's incredibly important. Erdogan's main appeal is a form of Turkish (even Ottoman) nationalism, and I'm sure that motivates people in Syria. Yet, apparently, one of the great laments of Syrian nationalism (something the rebels identify with) is the loss of a greater Syrian state (Bilad al-Sham) that would have encompassed most of Syria, Lebanon and Israel mooted again around WW1, but ultimately denied in the agreements between the UK and France.

Basically, trying to understand this stuff is hard. I'm not Syrian, or Iraqi or whatever, and ultimately don't get it, but, living for years in countries who have decided to insert themselves violently into things it seems worthwhile, even obligatory, to try to get a glimpse. One of the things I've been most influenced by recently was an interview with a US ex-soldier who joined the army post 9/11 precisely because he neither understood nor agreed with the policy in the middle east, but felt an obligation to do what he could to control his nation's actions there. It's not a choice I was capable of making at the time, left-leaning anti-military thinking seemed unquestionable. Now, however, when the idea presents itself it's easy to entertain it as I'm too old, the army doesn't want me, so it has no personal consequences, but its dignity is undeniable (imo) - even as the practical effects of western militaries seem mostly unconscionable.

Last edited by pyatnitski; 07-01-2017 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:18 AM   #57
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Re: Rojava

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tur...&NewsCatID=510

http://aranews.net/2017/07/kurdish-n...-syrias-afrin/

Turkey sucks. Reportedly hit PYD targets in Syria a couple days ago.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:31 PM   #58
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Re: Rojava

Is The Hill supposed to be a decent media outlet?

This article (somewhat old) is a piece of crap and I could show pretty easily that most of it is wrong. I think it's apparent though.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-bl...ides-of-a-coin

It was written by this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan_Oktar

A creationist, holocaust denier, and anti-Mason.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan_Oktar

Quote:
he published a 550-page book titled Judaism and Freemasonry based on conspiracy theories that state offices, universities, political groups and media were influenced by a "hidden group"[13] "to erode the spiritual, religious, and moral values of the Turkish people and make them like animals."
edit: email sent to the editor of thehill.com. I'll let you know if they respond.

Last edited by microbet; 07-09-2017 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:33 AM   #59
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Re: Rojava

Why is the byline Harun Yahya if it was written by Adnan Oktar?
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:04 AM   #60
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Re: Rojava

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Originally Posted by bobman0330 View Post
Why is the byline Harun Yahya if it was written by Adnan Oktar?
Pseudonym according to his Wikipedia page.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:35 PM   #61
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Re: Rojava

Thanks! I could swear that I ctrl-F'ed his wiki page to see if he had that as a pseudonym, but I must have mistyped it or something. Sorry. It was early.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:22 PM   #62
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Re: Rojava

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/10/...rge-ypg-syria/

A British guy who fought against ISIS with the YPG was charged with terrorism when he returned home. He was investigated because he was returning from the region, but then charged because he had a partial copy of The Anarchist Cookbook.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:25 AM   #63
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Re: Rojava

The actual text of Section 58 of the terrorism act, which is what this guy is being charged under, is extraordinarily broad. It says it's an offence to collect or possess "information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism". Worth adding this is explicitly just about general possession, there's a separate section about having material relevant to a specific planned attack. Obviously it's said that it will only be used against Very Bad Dudes, and then it's over to the police and the courts to set by precedence what kind of person and material actually fall under it.

Just like used to happen with more mundane 'censorship' in Britain (and possibly still does) the police want to apply it pretty broadly, and the courts, by various mechanisms, tend to counter that. Supposedly it's this primacy of precedence that makes English law so great, but it's always made me nervous about this sort of thing. I take it a broadly similar legal principle applies in the US generally, but there's the constitution there to prevent this particular kind of law.

You can read about various charges and convictions on google if you like, one person was convicted for, amongst other things, writing a poem about beheading people. Her conviction was overturned on appeal - the judge stating that much of the material prosecuted clearly wasn't the sort of thing that should fall under the act, and that the jury may have been 'confused'. The prosecution maintained she still had things that should have got a conviction, but nonetheless didn't seek a re-trial.

It's true that most of the people involved seem like awful people, and probably were genuinely interested in terrorism. It's also true they're involved for possessing things a very large number of people will have looked at.

The Josh Walker case still seems a bit bizarre, and is, I suspect, the police chancing their arm - whether because they don't want anyone travelling to Syria to fight, or simply because they like easy convictions. I'd hope he's found not guilty and I think it's possible he will be, but I wouldn't be sleeping easily if I were him.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:22 AM   #64
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Re: Rojava

Kurd girl sniper laughs off close call.

http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/9...f-296bfe0b09bc
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:45 AM   #65
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Re: Rojava

It takes a while to get to Rojava, but this is the story of someone who worked for the British government and at the UN, got disillusioned around the Iraq war and left and found his way to Anarchism and Rojava. It's a little light on substance in favor of being a bit toward entertainment, but I'm glad to have seen it. Also, props to the BBC.

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Old 07-25-2017, 01:00 PM   #66
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Re: Rojava

Waaay to light on substance imo, anyone who did not really understand what anarchism was before watching was no better off afterwards, and should have been way more props given to co-operatism.
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:18 AM   #67
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Re: Rojava

LGBT unit in the SDF

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7859756.html
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